The entryway of your home is the first impression you leave with guests. Taking the time and effort to make it cheerful will help visitors to feel welcome.

You won’t necessarily have to empty your pockets to create a memorable entryway. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity and effort. Here are seven ways to give the entrance to your home a new look.

Create a theme. Decide on what type of look you’re going for. Is it rustic? Beachy? Shabby chic? Maybe you want to pay homage to your Canadian roots and centre on a red and white colour scheme. Whatever you decide, use something as your focal piece like a storage bench and build from there.

Add a throw rug. An indoor/outdoor rug might be the wisest choice for an entryway or mudroom. A rug is the perfect accessory to add a pop of colour to otherwise neutral décor. It will also help to protect the floors in one of the most-travelled parts of your home.

Storage. Every entryway or mudroom should be outfitted with storage to keep clutter at bay. If you have enough space, a storage/seating bench always looks great in an entryway. The more hooks and spaces to store things, the better.

Use light. Most entryways are small spaces and layering light creates a warm ambience. You can use different lighting like sconces and table lamps to create different moods. Go for a big, bold fixture if the area is on the larger side.

Decorate to scale. If your entry or mudroom is on the smaller side, you don’t want to make it seem even smaller by including oversized items. On the other hand, if you have a huge entrance with only a small table, that wouldn’t look right either. A larger space might look great with some seating, mirrors, wall sconces and perhaps an umbrella stand topped off with a grand chandelier.

Wow with wallpaper. Having made a comeback in recent years, wallpaper comes in about every texture and print imaginable. You’re sure to find one for your entrance area that ties into the décor of the rest of your home. Wallpapering one wall may be just what your front area needs.

The outside to inside transition. To make stepping into your home from the outside more seamless, you could add some plants and greenery to your entry. Using stone or slate on the floor—or other natural materials—may also add a nice touch. A piece of rich wood furniture might also tie in nicely.